Jim Salmons

Jim Salmons, Operations Manager-Ohio:

Is there something specific about the AutoBase approach to business that improves how the entire organization works?

ANSWER: I’ve been managing people in different organizations for a long time. It didn’t take long to understand that no two individuals are exactly the same and it’s refreshing in AutoBase that management actually appreciates the different attributes each person brings to the organization.

We employ people from all walks of life. Some were theater owners, some drove tow trucks; we’ve got firemen and even people whose former career was in fast food. What we focus on is people with the right character -that essential quality. Then we can teach them the rest of the job.

Please share with us an overview of how AutoBase’s drivers deliver service –and people’s reaction to getting help with ‘no strings’ attached:

ANSWER: First, we have the best jobs in the world. We get to impact people’s lives every day. And as you mentioned, the best part is we do it for free – without strings.

Our HELP truck drivers are a friendly face, a calming voice and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on when people are truly at a loss on major roadways. And, it’s not for the money. I believe the team genuinely loves to help people.

Each of us can tell stories about horrible crashes –but when you listen to our drivers, they would rather talk about the panicked lady who could not cross a bridge and they had to comfort her until a member of her family arrived to help her cross the span.

We are constantly called: ‘Angels from Heaven’ – ‘Knights in shining armor’. It doesn’t get much better than that in terms of having fans, job satisfaction, and knowing that you are doing some important work.

Every person that we help tells pretty much the same story –generally you’ll hear: ‘the man in the State Farm HELP truck saved my life and he would not take anything for his trouble.’ The truth is we do not look at it as trouble, but as another chance to make a real difference for someone in need.

What are some new issues that have come up for AutoBase? How are you addressing them?

ANSWER: Our biggest issue in spring and summer is the increased number of people on the roads every day. It isn’t just commuters familiar with the highways, but added in are vacationers and travelers just enjoying a change of scene. Some days, just getting to everyone who needs assistance is a challenge. I know one thing for sure: when we do show up everyone sees a friendly face and each person gets treated like a member of our own families.

The AutoBase HELP truck drivers put themselves in harm’s way every day, so we have to be safety-conscious at all times. That’s one thing I hope rubs off onto everyone we assist along the roadways, in every state we serve.

We get about 500 comment cards at a time from our sponsors. Each one has a story about how we’ve helped a particular person or a family. It would be very hard to select just one as the best one…

Joe LaBella VP Operations